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Cusi: Time to invigorate hydro resources

Agence France-Presse

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Palinpinon geothermal plant in Leyte (Photo: First Holdings)

The development of geothermal power among the country’s renewable resources will help the country attain energy security.

They may be expensive to develop and take a longer time to build, but it would be able to generate the kind of power that will help sustain the energy security of the Philippines in the long-term.

It will also boost Republic Act 9513, also known as the Renewable Energy (RE) Act of 2008, according to Department of Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi.

Cusi has ordered his team to prepare a formal directive containing initiatives and guidelines on how to promote geothermal energy development and increase its utilization, as said resource is indigenous to the country.

“I would like to issue an order to really look deeply and comprehensively into how we can develop geothermal. I have been really thinking about it, assessing how we are addressing RE,” Cusi told DOE officials during their meeting on Wednesday via videoconferencing,

DOE Senior Undersecretary Jesus Cristino Posadas, Undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella, Undersecretary Emmanuel Juaneza, DOE-Renewable Energy Management Bureau Director Mylene Capongcol and Electric Power Industry Management Bureau Director Mario Marasigan joined the meeting.

Cusi said it is best for the country to focus on the resources that are abundant available, and extend all the necessary support to encourage its development through innovative policies and strategies.

He cited Vietnam as an example, a country focused on developing the strength of its hydro resources.

“They are very strong on hydro and that’s what they are developing. They are giving priority to their hydro. It doesn’t mean that they don’t have the other sources, but they focused on the strength of this particular resource,” he noted.

“This is the time to sit down and explore ways to support geothermal, because one installation will easily wipe out the 1,000MW installation of solar. I am for RE that would help improve the energy security of the country.”

To date, the Philippines has the highest RE generation mix within the Southeast Asian region.

In 2018, RE accounted for about 33.2 percent of the country’s total primary energy supply. The figure is already 10 percent ahead of the regional target set forth in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Plan of Action on Energy Cooperation, which seeks to increase the RE component on the ASEAN total primary energy mix to 23 percent by the year 2025.

“Let us break our head, think on how we can promote this source of energy, renewable that is really indigenous to us,” Cusi said. “Let’s go for it and regain our previous global standing as one of the top countries in geothermal development.”

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